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Homegrown in Greece.


Plumbago & Basil
Plumbago & Basil


Gardening is a rewarding hobby, it's hard work, sometimes a chore but the results make it all worth while.

MGG (My Greek God) and I are very pleased with the results of our years of hard work.

See  pictures our garden HERE.


There's nothing more satisfying though, than seeing that first tiny shoot emerge from a seed, that you have planted and lovingly nurtured.

If you are anything like me, after planting seeds, you inspect them carefully every day, I even put on my reading glasses to make sure that I don't miss anything!

The days turn in to weeks, they are no longer inspected so often, eventually I accept that they have been a failure.

 Then, one day, when they are nearly  forgotten about, I have a quick glance and there it is: that first sign of life.

The excitement!
I'm back to inspecting them every day, first thing in the morning, before I have even had my coffee!

I have been very lucky with seeds and pips, my latest are from date stones.
I had planted twelve, four of them germinated only for two of them to later die.

The two that survived are ready to be "Potted on"


Date palm
Date palm


That will be my job for tomorrow.
I'll have a sort through my collection of clay pots, see if I have enough fresh earth and settle them into their new homes.


Clay pots


While I'm at it, I shall plant some palm tree seeds, that I collected at the end of the summer.

MGG  took a photograph of me as I was returning from the beach one morning.

Posing under the palm trees, that are just outside our house, I noticed the hundreds of seeds and collected a few.



 Palm trees with seed clusters
 Palm trees with seed clusters


The yellow, outer casing of the seeds is very tough, I had a very sore thumb nail after removing the seeds from their protective  casings.

Don't the seeds look like coffee beans?


Seeds from a palm tree
Seeds from a palm tree


My first success with seeds and fruit stones was in 2004, the year of the Greek Olympic Games.

I had planted plum stones, peach stones, apricot stones and lemon pips.

That same year, a tiny fig sapling appeared of its own accord , I nurtured that too.

2004 was the year that I had planted the various pips and stones, I think we had our first fruit about five years later, the plums.


Plum blossom
Plum blossom

Before the plums we enjoyed this beautiful blossom.



"Olympic plum" tree
"Olympic plum" tree


We were so excited when the first plums were spotted!



"Olympic plums"
"Olympic plums"



The plums that I had taken the stones from, are called vanillias, here in Greece, I searched the internet to find the English name for them,.

I think they may be Victoria plum but I'm not sure.

If anyone reading this, recognises what they are, I would be very grateful if you would let me know.

Anyway, as they were planted in 2004 and I wasn't sure of the name, I christened them:

"Olympic Plum"

Subsequently, all other fruit that grew from the pips and stones that I had planted that year was named:

 "Olympic"




"Olympic fig tree"
"Olympic fig tree"


We have had bumper crops of figs every year since the first fruit.

MGG usually picks them and always complained that he became terribly itchy.
I really did think that he was exaggerating, until one year, I picked them.

 He wasn't exaggerating, oh they give an excruciating itch.
This is now known in our family as:

"The Fig Itch"



"Olympic figs
"Olympic figs



I can't show you the apricot or the peach tree, which did grow very well, but died after a few years.

The peach tree formed fruit that never grew very big before dropping off.
 The apricots did a lot better but only gave about ten or so apricots each year , before that tree also finally gave up the ghost.

I come now to the lemon pips.
I am still very sour about those.
(Excuse the pun!)

The lemon pips I had planted did splendidly!
After having them in small pots I transplanted them into the back garden.
They were doing well until their confrontation with MGG
Read about it Here

Another success that I have had, which I must say surprised me, is with bare root rose trees.
From England!

I wanted a little bit of England, in our garden, to remind me of home.

While ordering the "bare root" roses from the internet, I wasn't really hopeful that they would grow.
Would it be too hot here?
Would they survive the journey from England?

I was even less hopeful when they arrived, they just looked like sticks with a few straggly, bare roots, they were here so I planted them.

They grew!
 They grew very well and we have  glorious roses every spring!



Zephirine Drouhin.
Zephirine Drouhin.



Zephrine Drouhin I chose for its deep pink colour and also for the fact that it is thornless.




Iceberg Rose
Iceberg Rose


"Iceberg "
 I chose this for Yorkshire, where I was born, "The White Rose Of Yorkshire"



New Dawn
New Dawn 


 "New Dawn"
I chose this  for its lovely pale pink color.
Well it looked pale pink in the picture on the internet.
 It's more of a salmon pink, still beautiful though.



Something else that grew from nothing is this gigantic yucca tree.
This was a small pot plant that my Daughter had bought for me over twenty years ago.

 I can't really say that I like yuccas; too spiky.
I prefer flowing, softer plants.
I pulled it from the pot and stuck it in a corner of the garden, just stuck it in, I didn't even dig a hole for it.
It grew:
"The Revenge Of The Yucca"




Yucca
Yucca



Small Yucca
Small Yucca


The huge yucca started out looking something like this!


Succulents  also grow very well from small cuttings.
I have three or four large urns and pots absolutely overflowing with them.

This one I especially like.
I took the tiniest little piece from a plant in one of the parks in Loutraki.



Succulent
Succulent


My next planting of seeds will be from a Cycas Revoluta.
We have had one in our garden for over twenty years, very slow-growing plants.

This year, for the first time, it developed a strange, yellow, large ball.
We had no idea what it was, until my friend H, a great lover of plants and flowers, sent me a picture of the same thing that she had seen in Korinth.

I inspected ours again and saw that the ball was beginning to open, revealing some peculiar pink nodules.
After doing some research, it turns out, our plant is female, the nodules are the fruit.



Cycas Revoluta
Cycas Revoluta


H then sent me another picture of  a Cycas Revoluta that  she had taken in Elevsina.
This shows the fruit opening to show the seeds.



Cycas Revoluta Picture by H
Cycas Revoluta
Picture by H


I shall keep a close eye on our Cycas and hope that I shall be able to collect some seeds.

I'll  keep you posted about the date palms and the strange-looking Cycas Revoluta.

Below is a lovely story about seeds that I remember learning at school.

Johnny Appleseed





4 comments:

  1. Another very interesting article Susan, although I've never had green fingers as you and Tassos, I do think your garden is beautiful, lovely pics again !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Christine, gardening is rewarding, it can sometimes be more of a chore though, than a labour of love!
      Susan.x

      Delete
  2. Love the pics and such an interesting read, , great stuff. Tinoushka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tina for being a" Faithful follower"
      Susan.xxx

      Delete

Thank you so much for reading my blog, I am always absolutely delighted to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions.
They make all my efforts worthwhile,.

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Thanks,
Susan.x

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